George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4–6 September 1766]

4. 5. & 6th. Spreading flax at Doeg Run.

Do. Do. pulling Peas at Ho[me] House.

pulling peas: Lathyrus sativus, field pea, of which GW tried many varieties. His diaries and other farm records refer to the crowder pea; early, or “forward,” pea; red pea; small white pea; small round pea; small gray pea; Yateman pea; and the “Albany or field pea,” which persisted through more than a decade of GW’s crop experiments. His diary entry for 16 April 1785 indicates a planting of the Albany variety, and he wrote Thomas Jefferson 6 July 1796 that it grew well but was subject to the same insect pests as the garden pea. The field pea differs from the cowpea, Vigna sinensis, of which the best known is the black-eyed variety, which GW called the Indian pea.

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